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Mich. rescuers use hands, shovels to save boy in sand dune collapse

A 12-year-old boy was trapped while digging a hole at Silver Lake dunes

By John Agar

OCEANA COUNTY, Mich. — A 12-year-old boy who was trapped under sand in the Silver Lake dunes was rescued by people at the scene and police and firefighters who dug him out with their hands and shovels.

The boy had a faint pulse and required immediate life-saving treatment once he was freed. His condition improved as he was aboard an Aero Med helicopter that landed nearby and took him to the hospital.

“It was a very, very scary situation,” Oceana County Sheriff Craig Mast told MLive/Muskegon Chronicle.

The incident happened around 7:30 p.m. Sunday, June 9, at the end of North Sandia Drive at North Shore Drive.

The 12-year-old and a friend were racing remote-controlled cars before the batteries died. The boys then decided to dig a hole at the base of a dune in what Mast called “a very common case of boys being boys.”

They had dug a five-foot hole before the sand collapsed on the 12-year-old. People at the scene began digging with their hands. A sheriff’s deputy heard the boy calling for help under the sand.

Sheriff’s deputies and firefighters used shovels to dig. When the boy was pulled out, he had a “faint pulse” which was later restored to normal, the sheriff said.

He believed that the boy will recover.

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